Young people experiencing domestic and family violence
What is domestic and family violence?
Domestic and family violence (sometimes called 'DFV', ‘domestic violence’ or ‘DV’) is when one person uses violence or abuse to control the other person.
This can happen within your family, or if you are in a relationship, regardless of whether you're a young person or older person.
While some families may have arguments, and sometimes family members don’t get along, if an adult in your family is hurting, humiliating, threatening or frightening other people in your family then this could be domestic and family violence.
Find out more about the signs of domestic and family violence.
How domestic and family violence can make you feel
When faced with violence or abuse, you might:
- put yourself at risk by trying to stop the abuse
- blame yourself
- copy the abusive behaviour
- feel fearful, nervous, guilty or depressed
- not perform as well as usual at school, uni or work
- want to run away or leave home
- attempt suicide or self-harm
- want to use drugs or alcohol
- develop an eating disorder
- avoid spending time with your friends
- experience restless sleep or start having nightmares
- begin to stutter, or experience problems talking
- worry about the safety of your family.
These feeling are a normal response to what is happening and are signs you should get help.
If you're experiencing or have done any of the above, you should seek help by getting in contact with one of the support lines listed on this page.
If you're living in a house where there is domestic and family violence, remember:
- don’t put yourself in danger to protect someone else
- the violence isn't your fault–the only person responsible for the violence is the person who is being violent
- you are not alone–there are people who can help you.
Where you can get help
Phone Triple Zero (000) if domestic and family violence is happening now or a life is threatened.
Domestic and family violence support services
These services provide a range of assistance such as counselling and support to people affected by domestic and family violence, including children.
Visit our service finder page to search for a support service near you.
DVConnect is there for you if you want to talk with someone about domestic and family violence you’re experiencing and find out what help you can get. Phone:
- DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811, or
- DVConnect Mensline on 1800 600 636.
At 1800RESPECT you can talk with a trained counsellor who will listen to you and support you in a way that feels right for you and your situation.
Contact 1800RESPECT by phoning 1800 737 732 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or chat online.
Kids Helpline is a free and confidential telephone and online counselling service for young people aged between 5 and 25.
Phone 1800 551 800 to speak with a counsellor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Who else you can talk to
If you are not in danger, and it’s not emergency, but you feel like you need to talk with someone close to you to get a second opinion, phone or have a chat with someone you can trust. This could be a friend, relative, workmate, teacher or lecturer, or school guidance officer.
Try to explain how you or your family has been hurt, even if it’s hard to find the right words. If the person doesn't help you, call one of the support services listed above.
How you can report abuse
If there is no immediate urgency you can report domestic and family violence to the Queensland Police by phoning Policelink on 131 444.
Phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811 if you are escaping domestic and family violence and need a place of safety.
You can read more about:
- reporting domestic and family violence to police
- where to get support
- the law and domestic and family violence
- domestic violence orders.
What you can do to help stay safe
Here are some other things you could do to help stay safe in future:
- Work out who you can trust to talk to about what is happening in your home.
- Find a safe place in the house where you can go when the violence is happening.
- Plan the best way to get out of your house quickly.
- Ask a neighbour or friend who lives nearby if you can go to their house in an emergency. Make a plan for how to get there.
- Make a list of people you want to call if you have to leave home quickly. Make sure you have their telephone numbers written down in a safe place or in your mobile.
Find out more about planning for your safety.
How you can support a friend
Find out how you can support someone who is experiencing domestic and family violence.
You can also find support for people who are experiencing other forms of abuse.
- What's OK at home? (WOAH) provides information for teens and young people about family violence
- The Line provides information about healthy relationships
- eheadspace offers confidential and free online and telephone support 24 hours a day
- Youth beyondblue helps with youth depression and anxiety issues
- Reach Out helps young people to better cope with their lives.
- Another Closet provides information for LGBTIQ people in relationships who are or may be experiencing domestic and family violence